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Licenced to ill(founded)

By J

Readers might be interested to know that the ECHR has held that the complaint by Mr Pinnock (of Manchester CC v Pinnock fame) is inadmissible as manifestly ill-founded under art.35 (see here). You’ll recall that the Supreme Court decided the issue of proportionality for itself and made a possession order against Mr Pinnock.

Mr Pinnock complained to the ECHR about the making of that possession order. In particular, he alleged that:

… the Supreme Court had failed to apply the established principle of proportionality… the principles actually applied were impossible to ascertain from its judgment.. the court had failed to apply the principle that there must be a rational connection between the proposed interference with the right to respect for the home and the legitimate aim relied upon… there was no rational connection between eviction and the [prevention of criminal and nuisance activity]… [that] aim had been achieved when the first applicant’s sons ceased to reside at the property… other less intrusive measures were available to control anti-social behaviour… the eviction of the first applicant was wholly unnecessary… the failure of the Supreme Court to have the disputed issues of fact resolved by a court deprived the first applicant of the opportunity for an independent and impartial tribunal to assess the justification for and proportionality of the eviction.

Well, the ECHR was having none of it.

It is clear… that the Supreme Court had regard to all relevant factors when making the possession order… It provided detailed reasons which, far from capable of being taxed as arbitrary or unreasonable, were relevant and sufficient for its conclusion that the applicants’ eviction would not be disproportionate. In so far as the applicants complain about the failure of the Supreme Court to resolve disputed matters of fact, it is evident from the court’s judgment that, even if the matters had been resolved in the first applicant’s favour, this would not have affected the outcome of the case.

So, the application was inadmissible as manifestly ill-founded.

What amused me about this was that it was only a majority decision. Which means that there was at least one judge who thought that a proportionality hearing before a 9 person Supreme Court in which Mr Pinnock was represented by Leading Counsel still didn’t satisfy art.8. One wonders what more that Judge wanted?! And what, I wonder, would s/he make of a possession list at (say) Bow County Court…




J is a barrister. He considers housing law to be the single greatest kind of law known to humankind and finds it very odd that so few people share this view.


  1. Miranda Belle

    How do I make contact with ‘J’?

  2. J

    It depends – who wants him? :-)


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